CIA Reviews | Glassdoor

CIA Reviews

Updated January 25, 2017
14 reviews

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3.0
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14 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and people who are interesting (in 3 reviews)

  • great opportunities for travel; smart people (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours, work is sometimes tedious (in 3 reviews)

  • Access to classified information means personal life will be highly scrutinized (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Mission; Strangling Bureaucracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Operations Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are passionate about serving your country, this organization will be a good fit. The job is immensely rewarding on a personal level.

    Cons

    Over the last decade, the CIA has experienced a significant decrease in funding across the board. This means that different departments scramble to make the most out of their smaller budgets with the overall impact being less operations. At the same time, with less money to do operations, the importance of operational success has gone up and that has led to increasing bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck. Doesn't look like the incoming administration has any more favorable attitude towards the intelligence community than the last administration did. With no money, solid talent is hard to attract.


  2. "Program Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Program Management in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Program Management in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CIA (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great Learning Experience and exposure to many types of technology

    Cons

    Limited Growth Potential for long term employees

    Advice to Management

    None


  3. Helpful (1)

    "CIA Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in McLean, VA
    Former Intern - Intern in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at CIA as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People, Culture, Environment, Education Opportunities, Office

    Cons

    Slow, Bureaucracy, Slower, Slowest, Slowly


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  5. Helpful (9)

    "Not all glamour and 007"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Travelling is the number one upside of this job.

    Cons

    For self explanatory reasons this job isn't something you tell your wife, kids or friends too much about and therefore is more of a lonely job than you might think at first. Also the DC location kind of limits you to a certain degree.

    Advice to Management

    Decentralize more.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Surveillance Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Surveillance Technician in Phila, PA
    Former Contractor - Surveillance Technician in Phila, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at CIA as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good Pay and Benefits also if you like the type of work you'll enjoy going to work everyday.

    Cons

    Bad Hours and Septa Union Regulations

    Advice to Management

    Stop letting septa dictate and control who what when and where works for their sub contracts.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Nice experience as an intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Intern in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Took me as an intern freshman year

    Cons

    Too strict on GPA, mine dropped a little wouldnt let me return

    Advice to Management

    Have wiggle room


  8. Helpful (11)

    "weird otherworld"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intelligence Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CIA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    great opportunities for travel; smart people

    Cons

    Everyone is overly suspicous about everything and everyone--even coworkers, friends and family. Disturbing. By the same token, very incestuous. encouraged to marry each other and bring in family members. Too much religious references in the work place, which is totally inappropriate.

    Advice to Management

    Managers need more training, especially former Analysts who are not extroverts, nor are they naturally good working with people.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "good for tenure, opportunities to move around, flex schedule; not great with advancement or longterm work-life balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in McLean, VA

    Pros

    challenging, interesting, motivating work with chances to transfer internally over a career to try whatever you're interested in. lots of enthusiastic young people make for an invigorating team in most areas. management officially supports flexible schedules, professional growth through academic or personal research or language training, some chances to travel depending on your work. pay seems good at the starting levels for recent college/graduate school hires, but promises of rapid advancement are contingent on long hours and taking on high-profile but limited projects in many offices.

    Cons

    Hiring overload of the past decade means lots of talented young people fighting for management recognition to gain promotion to higher grades, limited number of experienced "senior" mentors to teach all the new people. Senior members of teams and offices have their pick of projects, travel, and high-level rotations. Management overwhelmed by their workload makes it a tough career path although offers better chances of promotion. Short-term they support balance and flexibility but long-term being in the office less hours or at "off" hours means less recognition, like most places.

    Advice to Management

    More consistent recognition of staff's efforts, knowledge building, an long-term goals would help make them feel they're not hired only to get the job done today with little interest in next year.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Clunky bureaucracy with cowardly leaders, but lots of opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CIA full-time

    Pros

    Overseas travel, training, variety of career options in one Agency; amazing mission

    Cons

    Very insular and cliquish, struggling to support and retain minorities, awkward and ineffective performance evaluation system

    Advice to Management

    The lack of leadership courage throughout the organization shows and that's why people are leaving. Do what is right by the workforce and develop, promote, and support all officers equally.


  11. "Working in Government"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CIA full-time

    Pros

    Stability, flexibility, you can keep trying multiple different career paths or stay in a field for speciality or expertise, steady work

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, expected to move to new jobs every 2-3 years, too much change, cant work from home since work is classified, either you are bored or stressed out

    Advice to Management

    Help your employees find good mentors and challenging work, keep them motivated, help them when having a hard time too


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